Offshore wind development is taking off around the world. The wind projects, however, pose logistic challenges that call for solutions from new ideas. For example, the UK has opened new areas for offshore wind development. However, these locations are farther from shore and in rougher water than ever before, which makes transporting crews and equipment difficult.
To help solve this problem, Carbon Trust (www.carbontrust.co.uk) held a contest for innovative transportation vessel designs for offshore wind. The non-profit company provides support to help business and the public cut carbon emissions and save energy. The 2011 Offshore Wind Accelerator Access Competition aimed to identify and develop new access systems to improve turbine availability and worker safety. Over 450 submissions from around the world included designs for vessels, transfer systems, and launch and recovery systems. Somehow, Carbon Trust narrowed that number to 13 designs, which received financial and technical support. Here are four of the finalists:
Momac Offshore Transfer System (Germany)
This innovative robot arm uses sensors to measure the vessel motion and compensates by adjusting its position to keep the transfer platform stable. The design is currently undergoing prototype testing. The concept has significant potential for use in a variety of operation and maintenance activities.
Fjellstrand Windserver (Norway)
The Fjellstrand WindServer‘s hull is said to allow fuel-efficient travel while providing stability. The vessel is ideal for transferring engineers to turbines in offshore wind projects. Slender waterlines and a bow minimize motion at high speeds, as well as during low speed maneuvering. Generous deck space is made possible by the hull’s ample load capacity, which can accommodate, they say, practically any transfer system.
Nauti-Craft’s hulls are separated from the deck and superstructure via a “passive reactive” hydraulic suspension system. The craft’s design draws on the team’s experience in developing interconnected suspension systems used by many production motor vehicles. The system lets the hulls conform to the ocean’s surface while providing stability and safety for crew transfers to offshore wind projects. The suspension also reduces structural loadings and increases passenger comfort and fuel efficiency.
Filed Under: Offshore wind, Projects